Having a disorganized car not only prevents us from feeling comfortable and enjoying the ride, it can also be dangerous. Items rolling around in the vehicle can distract drivers and even cause injury in the event of a sudden stop or crash. –WeOrganizeU
How many times do you get in your car each week?
Every time you leave your house, the grocery store, or the mall. Every time you get gas. Every time you leave work. You are going back to your car, and if it’s a mess then that’s how many times you are being inconvenienced by it.
Maybe you have to move stuff around to put the groceries in or to fit guests in your car. Maybe you’re embarrassed because people around can see all the trash you have. Maybe it’s just a reminder of one more thing you need to do.
As someone who travels a lot, I feel like I live out of my car. When I put something in it, I’m very tempted to leave it because “I’ll probably need it again by next week anyway.” However, that’s the mentality that has caused my car to become more and more cluttered. During the few occasions between trips when my car has been completely decluttered, I have enjoyed the feeling of seeing nothing in the seats or floorboards. Once I get it to that point, I’m more likely to work harder to keep it that way.
So the first step is to set aside time to get your car looking the way you want it. Yes, you have a million other things you could be doing and maybe you’ve gotten used to shoving things around, but think about how nice it would be to see a clutter-free car the majority of the time you’re getting into it.
3 Tips for a Clutter-Free Car
1. Choose a day of the week to spend about 30 minutes decluttering the car.
This is the one I haven’t really committed to yet, but I believe it’ll be the step that takes my car from being just ok most of the time to be noticeably and consistently clutter-free. Usually when we are getting in the car, we’re in a hurry. When we’re getting out of the car, we are tired from a long day’s work or traveling. At other times, we’re in the house focused on what’s there and not thinking about our car. But if we put it in our calendar and have one day each week to remind ourselves to pay attention to our car, then the overall affect will be much better.
2. Containers. Here’s what I use for my car:
Dog treat container with a lid that pops open = trash can.
Small basket for the front seat passenger floorboard = container for small items that I typically keep in my car. Instead of being in denial and thinking I’ll always take everything out of the car or contained in a few compartments, I’ve embraced it and made a place for those extra things. Maybe I’ll do better one day, but for now this is making a huge difference because it keeps things from being scattered in the floor or seat every time I make a sharp turn.
Small box in the back = holds things I want to return to their owner or items I’ve just bought. Once these containers get full, I know it’s past time to take them in the house and put them where they go. But for the days I’m in a rush, at least it’s easy to move stuff around so people can ride with me. Or if I’m getting my car serviced, I can move those things to the trunk easily so the rest of the car can be vacuumed.
Large box in the trunk = holds items I’m wanting to donate whenever I’m near a thrift store. It could be a while, so I keep those things out of sight more. They are items I won’t forget about. Then I still have room for stuff when I’m traveling.
3. Take something with you every time you get out of the car.
This is probably the best because it’s pretty effortless but also effective. It’s easy to make it a habit.
If you’re at a restaurant, gas station, or shopping center, grab a piece of trash or two or even a whole bag. If you’re at home, grab a jacket or pair of shoes to take inside with you. Then when you get to your day of the week for decluttering the car, maybe you’ll only need 15 minutes. Or you’ll be able to focus on other items in the car and get it all done in 30 minutes. Establishing this habit makes a huge difference. You aren’t having to make several trips back and forth to the car. Just one extra thing each time you’re already walking from the car to the house. And you don’t have to feel guilty when you don’t get everything because you know you’ll grab other stuff next time. This has helped me so much.
Honestly, my car still doesn’t always look decluttered. But it’s definitely a lot easier and faster to get it that way since I’ve implemented these habits.
Now imagine how much more pleasant it will be to get in your car throughout the day and not give a thought to what others are thinking when they see it. Or to not have to clean it out before letting someone ride with you. Or not having to move stuff around so you can put your luggage for your vacation.
Keep that feeling in mind as you try to establish these routines to help you reach that goal.
What’s your biggest struggle when it comes to keeping your car clutter-free?